Yup, numerous online platforms allow users to create and sell online courses. In this in-depth Thinkific vs Teachable battle, we’re putting these two juggernauts to the test as both are the most robust solutions available right now.
Since they are pretty similar, I’m going to cover every aspect of these platforms to make your decision. Let’s get started.
Thinkific and Teachable 101
You may upload various content like quizzes and videos, structure your courses, and protect your content. These platforms also allow you to receive online payments, distribute content professionally, and engage your students even more.
Most importantly, none of this requires any technical knowledge. Their staff is in charge of the technical aspects, such as hosting, security, upgrades, and upkeep.
Teachable and Thinkific are not course marketplaces like Udemy or SkillShare. As a result, you’ll have complete control over student data, pricing, and guidelines.
While the two systems are similar in terms of capability, they differ significantly in terms of specific characteristics. That’s why I’ve broken this guide down into several sections.
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Thinkific VS Teachable – A Head-to-head Analysis
Uploading and Structuring Content
You can include video, audio, pdf, text, quizzes, and other multimedia content types in your Teachable and Thinkific courses.
However, the Thinkific course builder is more customizable and offers more content formats.
To begin with, Thinkific offers Assignment lessons, which are ideal for any form of homework submission.
Thinkific supports a Live Lesson type, which is the most significant distinction between the two systems. You can arrange a live Zoom class from the course builder, and your students can easily participate.
Finally, Thinkific, unlike Teachable, lets you import Captivate and Storyline files into the system. While Captivate/Storyline isn’t required for most instructors, it is still a helpful feature.
Both platforms still allow you to easily construct your course structure and add content to your lessons, though.
You can bulk upload your stuff to the platforms and then drag and drop it around to reorganize it.
Teachable’s course builder, on the other hand, is more user-friendly and easy to use.
For instance, you can bulk-select lessons and adjust the parameters for preview, publishing, and downloads from the curriculum page itself.
Verdict: Overall, Teachable’s course builder is easier to use, but Thinkific’s content categories supported are more diverse.
The user may effortlessly move between lessons and observe their progress. When you enable comments for your classes, the comments section shows below the material.
Thinkific’s player used to look and feel outdated, but they’ve since improved it. In fact, it is now superior to Teachable in a few areas. As a result, your pupils will be able to search through the course by lesson titles, which Teachable doesn’t permit.
Furthermore, it offers a full-screen mode that simply covers the sidebar so that the content may take up the entire screen. It makes for a less distracting learning environment for your pupils.
Both course players are responsive to mobile devices, allowing your students to view your content in any mobile browser.
Verdict: Teachable and Thinkific both do a fantastic job of delivering courses. The course players have a professional appearance and feel, which makes for an excellent learning experience.
Community and Coaching
Teachable has a new product type called Coaching that is perfect for designing and selling one-on-one coaching programs.
You can determine pricing schemes, create an intake form, and construct a coaching program with defined milestones. You can also talk with your clients via private messaging with this Coaching product.
While Thinkific lacks a similar tool for generating online coaching, it does have considerably superior community and engagement features. Thinkific notably has an online community builder.
You may now associate a Community with individual courses or bundles, allowing you to easily control your students’ access.
Verdict: Overall, Thinkific provides more alternatives for promoting student conversations in your courses and memberships. On the other hand, Teachable offers more facilities for organizing one-on-one coaching programs.
Assignments and Quizzing
While both platforms allow you to publish quizzes, Thinkific has more extensive capabilities. It has randomized question banks, explanations, and the option to import questions that Teachable does not.
Additionally, Thinkific lets you include a picture and a video with your questions and answer choices.
You can only add plain text to your quiz on Teachable, which is somewhat limiting.
Furthermore, Thinkific features native interaction with Brillium, a full-fledged test solution that provides more advanced choices for learner evaluation.
‘Assignments’ is another essential learning tool provided by Thinkific. You can append an Assignment type lesson to your course and accept student contributions. You also have the recourse of accepting or rejecting their submissions.
At this time, Teachable does not have built-in support for assignments. In this circumstance, the workaround is to use Dropbox’s “File Request” feature, although the user experience suffers.
Finally, Thinkific has a built-in survey creator that you can use to get feedback from your students. You’ll need to utilize a free solution like Google Forms to obtain feedback for your Teachable course.
Verdict: Overall, Thinkific has far superior quizzing capabilities and the capacity to generate assignments and surveys that Teachable lacks.
Teachable provides three pre-designed themes from which to pick, or you can create your own from scratch.
A certificate in Teachable is associated with a course by default. So it will be instantly emailed to students once they have completed the course. As a result, creating a certificate in Teachable is a breeze.
In the case of Thinkific, the Certificates feature is much the same. You can customize the content and style of any of the seven templates in the collection.
Verdict: For most instructors, the Certificate features given by both platforms will be more than enough.
Content Lock and Dripping
Both platforms allow you to drip information based on student enrollment or course start date. The dripping process is pretty identical on both platforms.
When it comes to dripping, there’s one primary difference between the two systems. Teachable allows you to dispatch drip emails to your students automatically. On the other hand, Thinkific does not allow you to send automated emails to announce the release of new content.
Content locking is another crucial aspect of course delivery (or course compliance). You can limit your students’ advancement in Teachable and Thinkific until they finish the preceding lesson or pass an assessment.
Verdict: The course compliance elements in Thinkific are more flexible. Compliance is consistently enforced at the course level with Teachable, but it is implemented at the lesson level with Thinkific.
Analytics and Course Reporting
Teachable features robust course reporting capabilities that allow you to track your students’ completion rates, quiz scores, and video performance.
Under your course dashboard, there is a special section for reports. You can see a specific report by clicking the dropdown.
For example, if you want to view your course’s completion rates, you can choose the Lecture Completion report. Teachable will then provide you with average completion rates for various student groups.
The Leaderboards report also shows completion rates for specific students. Similarly, if you want to see how well your videos are performing, you can go to the Video Stats Report. You can view data like engagement and play rate for all of your videos.
You may also follow your users’ progress and the performance of your videos with Thinkific, although the reporting functionality is limited.
Verdict: In comparison to Teachable, Thinkific’s course reporting options are pretty weak.
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Thinkific provides a fantastic tool called “Groups” that allows you to sell your courses to groups of people or organizations.
You can offer your courses in bulk, enroll multiple students at once, track their progress, and generate reports using ‘Groups.’ This functionality comes in handy if you sell your courses to businesses.
Teachable currently lacks a feature similar to Thinkific’s ‘Groups.’ You can generate a multiple-use coupon as a workaround to enroll many users in your course.
Verdict: Thinkific wins this round for the added convenience for those who want to be more enterprising.
You may add various items to your sites and then drag and drop them where you want them.
Furthermore, both page builders feature live editors that allow you to see your changes on your website in real-time.
However, there are some noteworthy contrasts between the two builders. The most significant one is the number of page elements available.
These page elements are known as ‘Sections’ in Thinkific. There are over 20 different section kinds that you can add to your website with a single click.
Teachable will no doubt add additional features to it in the future. But for now, the page builder is a work in progress.
There is one area where Teachable outperforms its rival. You may create custom sales pages for individual campaigns or even perform some rudimentary A/B testing with several sales pages.
Verdict: Thinkific has overall better page-building capabilities than Teachable. This shouldn’t be a big deal to those who don’t need highly customized pages.
Thinkific has a theme library with three attractive site themes currently available.
Each theme has many styles to choose from. Once you choose a style, it is put on your website immediately.
As a result, there are various theme presets to pick from, allowing you to get started quickly.
Teachable lacks a proper ‘Site Themes’ function. It comes with a default template, which is used by all Teachable websites.
It does have a theme section where you can submit your logo and define your website’s font style and color. The style of other elements such as the header, footer, and buttons, on the other hand, cannot be modified.
Verdict: Site Themes are a Teachable platform weakness, and Thinkific has a distinct advantage in this area.
Teachable gives you the option of starting a blog on the site. It allows you to make blog entries and add text and images to them. It takes only a few minutes to get a simple blog up and running.
However, a Teachable blog is not fully functional, and it lacks the power and flexibility of a WordPress site. You can’t change anything about your blog, and it’s missing several vital functions.
At this time, Thinkific does not support blogging, so you’ll need to utilize a dedicated blogging platform like Squarespace.
Verdict: Teachable and Thinkific aren’t blogging platforms. But I suggest using Teachable if you want to post a couple of articles to support your course.
White labeling is a crucial component of developing a website on a hosted platform. Both Teachable and Thinkific allow you to do so.
However, there is a problem with Teachable’s white-labeling. Even if you select a custom domain, the Teachable subdomain is still used on the signup, login, and checkout screens.
There is no way to modify it. It’s wise to be aware of this limitation while using this platform.
Verdict: Thinkific wins this round.
Sales and marketing are critical components of successful online course business. Teachable and Thinkific both provide sales and marketing tools to help you expand your business.
Both allow you to offer one-time or recurring purchases, provide coupons, and sell course bundles. It’s also possible to offer upsells and integrate an affiliate network.
Verdict: Teachable outperforms Thinkific when it comes to sales and marketing features within the platform. The checkout procedure is the most significant difference between the two.
Upsells and Checkout
Teachable provides a highly efficient 1-step checkout process, in which a user inputs personal information and pays on the same page.
After a successful payment, the user is prompted to create an account. There is very little friction in the process, which is significantly better in terms of conversion.
Thinkific has a two-step checkout process, in which users must first establish an account before proceeding to the payment page.
Yes, there are certain benefits to a two-step checkout procedure like this. However, it is still somewhat old-fashioned, and many users abandon the process without completing it.
You can now add custom conversion elements to your checkout pages with Thinkific. However, it feels awkward and isn’t well-designed.
One-click upsells are another crucial part of the checkout process. One of the most successful techniques to increase average transaction per customer is to use 1-click upsells.
You may add a 1-click upsell to your ‘Thank You’ page with Teachable and Thinkific. You may even further modify it by adding other conversion elements such as a video, text, and CTAs.
Verdict: The checkout process at Teachable is a generation ahead of the checkout process at Thinkific.
You can set a one-time price, a regular subscription, or even a payment plan with Teachable and Thinkific. Courses can also be bundled together and sold as a package.
There are a variety of price options for your courses and bundles.
For example, charge a one-time fee and a monthly subscription for the same course.
Now let’s get to the few considerable differences between Teachable and Thinkific in terms of course pricing options.
First, Teachable allows you to price your course in several currencies. On the other hand, Thinkific only allows you to have one currency for all of your courses.
Second, Thinkific lets you set up a free trial period and charge a one-time setup fee for your subscription. This is particularly useful if you’re building a membership site.
Verdict: The winner of this section entirely depends on your preferences.
Payouts and Payment Processing
Payment gateways and payouts are other vital components that should be covered here. You can accept credit cards (through Stripe) and PayPal payments from your students on both platforms.
Everything is simple with Thinkific. On all of their plans, you get immediate rewards. When a student purchases your course, the funds are immediately transferred to your Stripe/Paypal account.
You are responsible for paying out to other writers and affiliates, and you will have to do so manually.
In this scenario, Teachable takes a slightly different approach and provides more possibilities. To be honest, it’s also a little perplexing.
You can collect payment from students using your Stripe/Paypal account using the custom gateway.
There is no delay in receiving the funds in your account. Please note that only Teachable’s Professional and Business Plans ($119/month and more) allow you to use a custom gateway.
Otherwise, the funds are deposited into their account first. Then they payout to the teachers on the first business day of each month.
This applies to all transactions that occurred at least 30 days before that date. In general, rewards take 30-60 days to arrive.
To summarize, Thinkific offers fast payment on all programs. However, only if you’re in the United States or Canada can you earn quick payouts on all Teachable programs. Otherwise, only $119/month and above subscriptions will get quick reimbursements.
Teachable’s gateway has the advantage of allowing you to accept credit card (or PayPal) payments even if Stripe. If you were using Thinkific, you wouldn’t be able to do something like this.
You may also accept Apple Pay and Google Pay payments, which significantly improve the mobile checkout experience.
What is Backoffice:
Another benefit of using their gateway is that they provide a BackOffice suite of services. Teachable’s BackOffice allows you to pay your affiliates and authors automatically. They even collect W-8/W9 forms from your authors and affiliates and file 1099 tax forms for them.
BackOffice costs an extra 2%, but it can save you a lot of administrative time—the more affiliates or authors you have on your online school, the better.
Teachable Basic Plan users can only utilize PayPal as a payment option if they enable BackOffice.
Payment via PayPal is a beneficial function, and you should never have to pay more to use it. So that’s a negative.
Verdict: The winner of sections depends on how your courses are set up.
EU VAT Handling
Teachable is one of the few online course platforms that have the capacity to manage EU VAT built-in.
You can charge EU VAT on top of your course fee if you utilize Teachable. It automatically calculates the correct VAT rate based on the students’ location and sends them VAT data invoices.
You can also choose to show the pricing of your course with VAT included on the sales page.
Teachable will even pay the tax to the appropriate authorities on your behalf if you use their gateway.
Within the Thinkific platform, there is no way to collect EU VAT from your students. You can engage an external solution like Quaderno for VAT reporting, but you’ll be paying taxes from your revenue.
Using a customized checkout page solution like ThriveCart is another alternative for handling EU VAT on Thinkific. Managing EU VAT is a complicated procedure, and Teachable excels at it.
Verdict: Teachable is the better option here because you don’t have to use third-party services.
Another factor to consider when selecting an online course platform is how well it integrates with other marketing tools.
Both platforms work with analytics and tracking software such as Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, and Segment, among others. Other marketing platforms, such as Convertbox and Deadline Funnel, can also be integrated.
They also have a robust Zapier connector that lets you connect to thousands of third-party apps. If you vend using a platform like ClickFunnels or Leadpages, you can use Zapier to add users to Teachable/Thinkific automatically.
Teachable provides direct email marketing connections with two email marketing solutions: ConvertKit and MailChimp. Thinkific has those two, plus ActiveCampaign, Aweber, Infusionsoft, and Constant Contact.
Zapier is required if you want to combine it with any other email marketing tool.
Thinkific also includes direct interfaces with many other major systems, including LessonSpace, Accredible, Shopify, EarlyParrot, and Stunning.
Verdict: Thinkific wins this round by a narrow margin.
Affiliate Marketing Capability
Teachable and Thinkific both allow you to invite affiliates to your school to promote your courses.
They both let you create a custom commission percentage for your affiliates and choose the courses they promote.
Furthermore, each affiliate has a dashboard to access their affiliate share links and check their progress.
As a result, both platforms have similar capabilities and lack a few key affiliate marketing features. You won’t be able to specify a custom affiliate percentage for a single course, for example.
Teachable’s affiliate marketing options, on the other hand, are more robust and adaptable. For starters, Teachable allows you to create a custom cookie period for your affiliates, which is currently unavailable with Thinkific.
The most admirable aspect about Teachable’s affiliate system is that if you utilize their payment channel. It can automatically pay out to your affiliates. If your school has a substantial number of affiliates, this can be a godsend.
Finally, Teachable’s affiliate dashboard is considerably sleeker and has improved reporting tools.
Verdict: Teachable wins this round by a mile.
Thinkific does not have any real-time help channels, so your only choice is to contact them via email.
Teachable, on the other hand, provide email help with all of its plans. Live chat support is only available with the Professional Plan and higher.
Nothing beats live chat help, and on the higher tiers, Teachable’s customer service is superior to Thinkific’s.
Both platforms feature a comprehensive knowledge base where you can find how-to guides.
Furthermore, both of these platforms have very active user communities. You can interact with other users, ask questions, and receive advice on selling online courses.
Both systems spend a lot of money on client training. Teachable has an online training school called TeachableU that offers courses detailing every step of the course building process.
Thinkific also offers a premium training program called the Online Business Masterclass, free for subscribed users.
Verdict: If you need someone to hold your hand throughout your course creation, Teachable might be the better option.
Teachable and Thinkific both have three paid pricing tiers available to their subscribers. The Basic Plan, which costs $39 per month on Teachable and $49 per month on Thinkific, is the first tier.
Teachable’s Professional Plan costs $119/month, and Thinkific’s Pro Plan costs $99/month. These are the most popular pricing tiers.
Thinkific’s highest tier, better suited to advanced users, costs $499 per month, and Teachable’s is $299 per month.
It looks like the prices of Teachable and Thinkific’s primary tiers are drastically different. Moreover, they differ in terms of the transaction cost they charge and the functionality they provide.
There are no additional transaction fees with Thinkific pricing on any of the plans. On the other hand, Teachable levies a $1 + 10% transaction fee on the Free Plan. On the Basic Plan, there’s a 5% fee.
Another significant difference in their pricing is that Thinkific offers quick payouts on all plans. Teachable only offers it on Professional and higher plans.
Furthermore, Thinkific’s PRO plan ($99/mo) is less expensive than Teachable’s Professional plan ($119/mo), making Thinkific a significantly more affordable option.
Thinkific also offers a free plan that lets you create up to three courses and an infinite number of students. As of now, Teachable’s free plan is no longer available.
However, in some particular cases, Thinkific may be more expensive than Teachable. Bulk emailing, white-labeling, Zapier actions, and other features are accessible on Thinkific as part of the Growth Package.
The Growth Package is a $0.1 per active student per month add-on to their PRO plan. Your first 100 students are free.
To enjoy these services, you’ll pay $189/mo (maximum $499/mo) for your membership to the PRO Plan and the Growth Package.
In terms of Teachable’s pricing, all of these capabilities are included in their Professional Plan, which is $119 per month. And that’s regardless of the number of students in your school.
Verdict: Thinkific is less expensive than Teachable, and its pricing scheme is unquestionably superior.
Thinkific vs Teachable: Who Wins At The End?
After looking at some of the platform’s most essential aspects, it’s evident that they both have a lot to offer. They both allow you to produce, sell, provide material, and engage students in online courses.
When it comes to Thinkific vs Teachable, Thinkific has a clear advantage. However, Teachable will be a superior solution in some cases.
Thinkific provides more powerful quizzing capabilities, built-in support for assignments, and the ability to create a community.
It also has more fantastic features for developing memberships than Teachable. Plus, it allows you to bulk-sell your courses and manage students in a batch more efficiently.
Thinkific also boasts far superior site-building capabilities than Teachable, which can be helpful if you don’t already have a website.
Finally, Thinkific’s pricing is more beginner-friendly, with no transaction fees on all of its programs.
On the other hand, Teachable is more user-friendly, offers a more intuitive course builder, and offers one-on-one coaching.
In the same way, Teachable outperforms Thinkific in terms of sales and marketing functionality. Their checkout procedure is well-optimized, they accept Apple Pay and Google Pay, and they have better affiliate marketing capabilities.
It all boils down to what you need as an instructor. There’s also the matter of cost. If you can make do without the bells and whistles.
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Are you still having a hard time choosing a platform? Create similar courses on both sites if you have time to undertake an A/B comparison.
You don’t have to present the same course, but you can choose courses that are in the same category. Then see what appeals to the same audience.
See which site has a higher conversion rate and which can assist you in making a final selection.
You can also try Podia, another online course building and hosting tool.
When evaluating tools, keep in mind that you shouldn’t just consider the instructor’s perspective. You need also consider which course builder will provide a better experience for your students. Have fun teaching!